The Feast of San Gennaro is a patron saint festival that has become a popular street fair in Manhattan’s Little Italy.
It honors Saint Januarius, the patron saint of Naples, because back in the day many families in the neighborhood were Neapolitan.
When you first come to New York, the Feast of San Gennaro is delightful. When you’ve lived in New York a long time, you may prefer to avoid the tourists. Either way it is an iconic New York City street fair.
The Festival is actually more than a typical New York City street fair. It is a patron saint festival like those held in small towns across the Latin world. It was started in 1926.
One of the Festival highlights is the religious procession of the Statue of San Gennaro whose home is the Most Precious Blood Church on Baxter St. For good luck, people pin offerings on the statue’s clothes.
The Festival is also a statement of Italian identity in a neighborhood that has largely been absorbed by Chinatown.
93rd Feast of San Gennaro 2019
The Festival is on Mulberry St in Manhattan’s Little Italy for ten days September 12-22, 2019. FREE
The Grand Marshall is actor Steve Schirripa who is best known as Bobby on The Sopranos and Detective Abetemarco on Blue Bloods. The Queen of the Festival is Joelle Taranto.
The Festival’s highlights are the Grand Procession on Saturday, September 14 and the High Mass and Religious Procession on Thursday, September 19.
Thursday, September 12 ~ The blessing of the stands is at 6pm.
Friday, September 13 ~ The 22nd Annual Cannoli Eating Competition is on the stage at Grand & Mott St at 2pm.
Saturday, September 14 ~ The Grand Procession of floats, bands and celebrities is at 2pm.
Monday, September 16 ~ The 15th Annual Enrico Caruso Opera Night is at 7pm.
Wednesday, September 18 ~ The 1st Annual Zeppole Eating Competition is at 1pm.
Thursday, September 19 ~ The religious procession of the Statue of San Gennaro begins with a solemn High Mass at the Most Precious Blood Church at 6pm.
Saturday, September 21 ~ The 4th Annual Meatball Eating Competition is at 1pm. The Little Italy Vocal Competition tribute to great Italian singers is at 2pm.
Sunday, September 22 ~ The Annual Blood Drive is at the New York Blood Center from 11:30am to 6:30pm. There is a Neopolitan Concert at 2pm.
Visiting the Feast of San Gennaro
The Feast is on:
- Mulberry St between Canal and Houston
- Hester St between Baxter and Centre
- Grand St between Baxter and Centre
For more information, visit sangennaronyc.org